The six-week-old infant boy, with gorgeous blue sparkling eyes and blonde hair does not make eye contact with his mother who is trying to nurse him because he cannot see. The five-month-old infant girl from Guatemala with happy brown eyes smiles easily, but cannot hear the voice of her mother. The six-year-old boy with dark skin and gorgeous black curls hides behind a large, fake plant rather than join his family at the table for Christmas dinner. The Hispanic boy’s joyful smile at his mother turns to a smoldering stare, holding the darkness within him. The seven-year-old girl with beautiful blue eyes and blonde hair, does not love her mother, and tells her so every chance she gets. She tells her in American Sign Language.
Are these snapshots of five troubled families?
No, these are the children of my family. My name is Linda Petersen. My husband RAYMOND and I have five children with five different disabilities. Our first son Francis was born blind and we later found that I carried the same gene that had left my brother blind, deaf and multiply disabled. So we adopted our second child, Dinora. Declared healthy, she turned out to be malnourished and deaf and suffering from attention deficit, post traumatic stress and anxiety disorders.
Still we coped. I worked part time and drove my pair to numerous medical and school appointments, while Raymond pitched in admirably on housework and cooking.
But when Francis and Dinora became teenagers and my schedule eased, I ached to do more. Raising children was great fun and I had the time, emotions and ability to give. Raymond adored children, so our only dilemma was how to add to our family.
Since we lacked the money to adopt again, we became foster parents and requested only infants. Caring for and watching babies grow and develop has been an awesome and humbling experience. Although most were returned to their parents or adopted by relatives, we wound up adopting three of these children ourselves.
Each, it turned out, had serious disabilities as well. As they grew, horror stories emerged from their family backgrounds: beatings, sexual abuse, severe neglect, cocaine addiction, and neurological damage.
Our family is a walking dictionary of medical conditions and psychological syndromes, some so severe that you would never expect that child to live a normal life. Yet our children have survived and thrived.
I hope to share with others the approach that has worked for us. Acceptance and humor ease life’s burdens. Patience and understanding trump even the greatest disability.

After ranting and raving about my lovely life raising 5 kiddos with disabilities, the book has finally been published as an e-book;  “The Apple Tree:  Raising 5 Kids with Disabilities and Remaining Sane”, on, I-Book, and Barnes and Noble.

The Apple Tree; Raising 5 Kids with Disabilities and Remaining Sane

Publication Date: May 12, 2012

Please consider purchasing one. It’s only $8.99!!!


Comments on: "Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities: THE BOOK!!!!!" (15)

  1. I don’t own an e-reader, but if you ever get a paper version I’d love to have it. I’m an avid follower of your blog, and wish you every success in this – and all things.

  2. If you have a PC you can have the book through Amazon’s Kindle….this is a must read book!! and with Amazon’s Kindle it’s $7.55. GREAT price for a GREAT read! just a note: grab the kleenex for laughing and crying!

    • 5kidswdisabilities said:

      Thank you so much for the kind words! I haven’t had much feedback and it is nice to know you liked it!!!

  3. After replying to the comment that you left on my blog I wanted to come and read your blog. I appreciated that you were kind enough to leave a comment and pleased to hear from someone who understands. Boy! Do you understand. What an inspiration you are, you are amazingly strong!! Thank you for sharing your story.

  4. Daiyuflower said:

    Purchased your book yesterday and couldn’t put it down! You are such a great storyteller 🙂 I found your book very uplifting and thought it was beautifully written.

    • 5kidswdisabilities said:

      Thank you sooooooooo much. It just came out and only my friends and family have given me feedback, and of course, they HAVE to tell me it is good. It is great to hear that you liked it!

  5. Daiyuflower said:

    I’ve been following your blog for a while, so it was great to have a whole book to read. Your writing style is very engaging, and I think you are really able to make the people you know seem real to the reader. I feel like I know you and your family after reading your book 🙂

  6. I am looking forward to reading more of your story.

    Shanna Groves – Author and Speaker

  7. Francine Redstone said:

    I’ve loved reading your blog and I bought your book. It was SO amazing. I laughed and I cried, and sometimes both at the same time! You really have a way with words.

  8. Wow, I can’t wait to read your book!! I’m so happy you happened to like my blog post so I can now read more about your experience. Thank you!

  9. I just purchased the Kindle version from I can’t wait to read it!!ds Will post more after I do.

  10. Your stories portray what an amazing, kind person you are. I have been catching up on your posts and almost all of them make me tear up; you write with such kindness and humour. Your children are blessed to have you as their mother.

  11. I just finished reading your book and you are one amazing lady with one amazing family. As I read more chapters, my admiration for you (& your husband) continued to grow. You have managed to raise 5 wonderfully inspiring children while helping so many others along the way. Thank you for making the world a better place and thank you for sharing your inspirational story and life.

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